J.J. Barnes :: Our Love is in the Pocket :: Best Northern Soul Music Monday
“Time moves fast when we’re together,
.but slow when we’re apart.”
This Week’s Installment of The Best of Northern Soul Music Monday features This Epic, Banger of a Northern Soul Love Song, “Our Love is in the Pocket”. A love song you can Dance to makes This one of the Best Northern Soul Songs around. So, don’t hesitate, Press Play and have a listen, then slide into your Favorite dance shoes, and grab hold of your Top dancing partner, and give this Song, and yourself, a whirl around this Northern Soul Monday. C’mon Everybody, let’s Dance.
J.J. (James Jay) Barnes was born in November of 1943, in Detroit, Michigan. During his life he recorded several singles, starting in 1960.
His early releases included Songs like “Just One More Time” and “Please Let Me In”. They were released through the record labels Mickay and Ric-Tic. The Songs had very little success, but were part of the Music that was picked up as Northern Soul Favorites in the UK.
Mickay Records issued four singles by Barnes; the first, “Just One More Time” (1963), is sought after by Northern soul fanatics. Scepter Records realized its potential and plucked it for national distribution, but the sales never amounted to much.
“These Chains of Love,” “Teenage Queen,” and “So Far Away” — all released in 1963 and 1964 — were good efforts that few heard. He cut one record for Ring Records in 1964, “Poor Unfortunate Me” b/w “She Ain’t Ready.”
Ric-Tic Records issued Barnes’ seventh record and followed it with three more, debuting with “Please Let Me In” in 1965; like many of Barnes’ recordings it had a pronounced, four-on-the-floor beat — the beat that defined the early Northern soul sound. At thetime, if a Tune didn’t have that kind of a beat, it would not be played in Northern England’s popular dance clubs. That said, inner-city teenagers hated the beat and R&B disc jockeys wouldn’t play the song – though it still sold better than previous singles.
He had another disappointing Single with “Real Humdinger”, which despite charting at # 20 on the R&B Chart and # 60 on the Pop Chart, was not played in some cities mainly because it had an “outdated” beat.
Barnes went on to do a Cover Version of The Beatles’ “Day Tripper”, which became his most successful record at the time. He then teamed up with Edwin Starr and Steve Mancha. Together, as a band called The Holidays they had a hit called “I’ll Love You Forever”.
That Single, and its success, has been credited to a number of coincidences and lucky happenings. The trio happed to be around when Producer Don Davis was itching to record the Song. As a trio, they never toured as The Holidays.
Later in his life he would be signed to Motown Records, where he contributed as a Songwriter, but did not have any recordings released as a singer. Barnes was not happy being Motown’s propert, neither was his ex-Ric-Tic friend, Edwin Starr.
Motown released Barnes from his contract and he hooked up with Don Davis again. They worked on a few Singles together with some success. He even worked with The Holidays again, on the Groove City label – but that label, unfortuntately, failed almost as quickly as it started.
A stint on Revilot Records resulted in 4 Singles, including this one – “Our Love is in the Pocket”.
Some of Barnes Motown material has subsequently been released on the A Cellarful of Motown! compilation Album series.
it was on the recommendation of his friend Edwin Starr, J.J. Barnes moved to England in the 1970’s, becoming very popular. Starr had arranged for Barnes to appear on a series of shows which let him to signing a deal with Contempo Records.
J.J. Barnes became a Favorite artist of the UK Northern Soul Music Scene, and performed frequently in the UK.
Overall, J.J. Barnes was barely known in the United States, but in the UK he is considered one of Northern Soul’s Most Beloved Artists.
Revilot Records released 2 Versions of “Our Love is in the Pocket”, one in 1969, and one in 1977.
“Our Love is in the Pocket” marks our Third Installement of the Best Northern Soul Music Monday. I hope you took my advice and played this Banger loud, and then grabbed hold of someone special’s hand, and Danced to it. Be sure to check back every Monday for more of the Best Northern Soul Music and start your Mondays out right.